Post by Contributing Writer, Daniele
Summer time is fast approaching! With this season comes more relaxed and laid-back days perfect for creating family memories. And planning special times for those we love is exactly what should be the priority, don’t you think?
Whether we anticipate more organized vacation times or envision simple backyard picnics, a little thought can go a long way in shaping our family’s summer adventures. Some of us like to wing it, taking each day as it comes. Others may want to aim for having a list of ideas ready before June arrives.
Whatever your style, however you choose to approach the season — today I offer a few questions and suggestions to consider.
A great beginning place is to ask “As a family, what memories would we like to make this summer?”
Think memories, not money.
A few ideas may possibly require more funds than others, but start with a vision of how to enjoy your days instead of simply how much is in your bank account. Memory making is always in the budget.
If appropriate, gather the whole family around for a meeting to simply jot down everyone’s thoughts on paper. Help little ones along by channeling their ideas.
So, if my 5-year old were to blurt out ‘Let’s build a spaceship & fly to the moon this summer!’ (something he would completely offer as a suggestion), I might respond ‘Well, we won’t get that done this summer, but how about we build a small model spaceship and then check out some books to read on rockets and space at the library?’ Try to involve as many family members as possible in the conversation.
We would then take our list and as the days and weeks go by, choose activities that seem to fit the schedule. Or you could choose right from the start and shelve others for another year. Try to incorporate at least one idea from each family member so everyone feels affirmed.
As you think through these glorious summer months, ponder:
What sights and sounds would we like to explore as a family? What traditions should be continued? Any that need to be reconsidered? Are there any skills would we like to explore or grow in? — Every summer my mom took extra time to teach my sisters and I to cook. I take little bits of time to teach the children new chores so we’re ready to go in September. How can we enjoy the outdoors together? What does our community offer? – Often there are free outdoor music concerts, library or bookstore reading programs, fairs, parades, parks to enjoy. Frugal fun! How can we be hospitable as a family? – Because our schedule is more relaxed, we often find summer time to be a great season for increased hospitality. What can we try that is completely new to our family?
After brainstorming and gathering ideas, get a bird’s eye view and be sure there is not too much planned according to your family’s lifestyle. I aim to allow plenty of room for playful childhood, simple activities and time for my children to entertain themselves as well.
Family time is special every season of the year — may your summer be a memorable one!
Do you have any other questions for us to consider when thinking through summer plans?
Daniele is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mama of five–a woman on a journey towards intentional living. She celebrates family, gathers up grace, and nurtures the spirit over at Domestic Serenity. You’re welcome to visit!